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Is spontaneus enlightenment "unthelemic" and impossible within the "new aeon"?  

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Shiva
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28/05/2015 1:47 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
1) In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1).

So a person which [who] is fully satisfied in practicing Christianity, is actually manifesting The Law of Thelema, through the said person's True Will (according to definition 1)?

According to Los' definition #1, that is correct. Said Christian is indeed doing his Will. And so is everybody and anybody else who does anything - as long as it succeeds. "Success is your proof."


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Los
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28/05/2015 3:24 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"The Law of Thelema" -- a description of what actually happens in the universe [...] there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything an individual does
2) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal restrictions
3) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal and external restrictions

In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1).

[...]

Since the desire to discover the True Will (definitions 2 and 3) is born out of a sense of dissatisfaction, a person who does not feel a sense of dissatisfaction has no reason to go looking for his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

At every step of the way, everything the individual does is True Will (definition 1), including the actions he takes to try to discover his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

So a person whose life is fully satisfied in practicing Christianity, is actually manifesting The Law of Thelema, through the said person's True Will (according to definition 1)?   

Yes. And a person who is completely unsatisfied by his life is also actually manifesting the Law of Thelema under definition #1. By definition #1, everything a person does is True Will. Even a person who deliberately goes out of his way to deny his natural inclinations and intentionally live a life of asceticism and pain is still acting in accord with True Will (definition 1). But he wouldn't be acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

So what use is definition 1? Well, in a practical sense, it's not terribly useful except in one key way: this conception of True Will frees the individual from having to worry about the past or to have regrets. Whatever situation the person is in, he can just accept that it was his True Will that led him there, and now he's got to figure out what to do next. That's where definitions (2) and (3) come in handy.


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Los
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28/05/2015 3:32 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
According to Los' definition #1, that is correct. Said Christian is indeed doing his Will. And so is everybody and anybody else who does anything - as long as it succeeds.

I don't know if I agree with that last bit, but it depends on exactly what you mean. A person who enters an archery competition and badly misses every target is still carrying out his True Will (definition 1), even though his attempts have "failed" by most conventional standards. In fact, if it's the individual's natural inclination in that situation to enter the archery competition and try to hit the targets, then it is also his True Will (definitions 2 and 3), even if he again "fails" by conventional standards.

But it's interesting to note that the original (archaic) meaning of "success" is "The outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims." In this sense, "success" meant something closer to what we mean when we say a monarch "succeeds" another. It's a word that indicates one thing happening after another, whether it fulfills the intention or not (hence, people would speak of "good success" or "ill success" depending on whether or not what they did was a fulfillment of intent or a failure).

If we take this archaic meaning, everything that happens can be described as "success" in the sense of following inevitably from the previous moment. Something to ponder when considering Liber AL.


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wellreadwellbred
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28/05/2015 9:04 am  
"Los" wrote:
By definition #1, everything a person does is True Will. Even a person who deliberately goes out of his way to deny his natural inclinations and intentionally live a life of asceticism and pain is still acting in accord with True Will (definition 1). But he wouldn't be acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

Does this mean that the True Will which according to definition #1, is everything a person does, is a kind of True Will which corresponds less with the "pure will" which according to The Book of the Law (I:44) "is every way perfect", than True Will (definitions 2 and 3)?

And is the True Will of a person who finds no reason to act in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3), a True Will which is less perfect, or less useful, or less practical, or less good, or less preferable, than the True Will of persons acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3)? 


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William Thirteen
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28/05/2015 12:49 pm  

If we take this archaic meaning, everything that happens can be described as "success" in the sense of following inevitably from the previous moment. Something to ponder when considering Liber AL.

thanks for pointing that out Los. Indeed, something to ponder.

Regarding:

True Will frees the individual from having to worry about the past or to have regrets.

I would suggest that it also frees the individual from 'having to worry' about the future, as criteria for future action will again be only to act in accordance with "True Will". 

Thus, she is living authentically in the Present.


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jamie barter
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28/05/2015 1:24 pm  
"Los" wrote:
[...] But it's interesting to note that the original (archaic) meaning of "success" is "The outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims." In this sense, "success" meant something closer to what we mean when we say a monarch "succeeds" another. It's a word that indicates one thing happening after another, whether it fulfills the intention or not (hence, people would speak of "good success" or "ill success" depending on whether or not what they did was a fulfillment of intent or a failure).

If we take this archaic meaning, everything that happens can be described as "success" in the sense of following inevitably from the previous moment. Something to ponder when considering Liber AL.

Take note readers: Our next word for today is: Success.  Yes, SUCK – CESS.  You will now all debate – I mean discuss – I mean “converse”, real friendly like, about the semantics of it in an approximately circular fashion.  Do you hear me now?!  (Loz The Omnipotent has spoken…) ;D

"Los" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"The Law of Thelema" -- a description of what actually happens in the universe [...] there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything an individual does
2) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal restrictions
3) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal and external restrictions

In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1).

[...]

Since the desire to discover the True Will (definitions 2 and 3) is born out of a sense of dissatisfaction, a person who does not feel a sense of dissatisfaction has no reason to go looking for his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

At every step of the way, everything the individual does is True Will (definition 1), including the actions he takes to try to discover his True Will (definitions 2 and 3).

Yes. And a person who is completely unsatisfied by his life is also actually manifesting the Law of Thelema under definition #1. By definition #1, everything a person does is True Will. Even a person who deliberately goes out of his way to deny his natural inclinations and intentionally live a life of asceticism and pain is still acting in accord with True Will (definition 1).

So we don’t need to do anything at all?  To carry out the Great Work – and “attain” or “be enlightened” or whatever the ‘goal’ is, I mean.  There is no point in following the A.’. A.’. programme, no point in doing any practices at all?  (This all sounds very appealing, very good for lazy buggers, ignorant folk & the like, and it certainly puts a whole new spin on and extra dimensions to ye olde ‘Spiritual Con’.) 

However, O master Los (or master Erwin, more appropriately), is there a catch?

"Los" wrote:
But he wouldn't be acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3). [...]

Oh, screw that though!  Definition 1 quite does away with 2 and 3 which are very much secondary to its almighty dominion… ;D

Enthusiastically getting ready to burn all the syllabi
Norma N Joy Conquest


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Shiva
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28/05/2015 1:57 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
You will now all debate – I mean discuss – I mean “converse”, real friendly like, about the semantics of it in an approximately circular fashion.  Do you hear me now?

The optimist is cheering up the crowd before things get heated up. 😀

Enthusiastically getting ready to burn all the syllabi?

"Every initiate has to burn all his books at some point." 🙁
- Frater Aquarius, et al


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Los
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28/05/2015 2:07 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Does this mean that the True Will which according to definition #1, is everything a person does, is a kind of True Will which corresponds less with the "pure will" which according to The Book of the Law (I:44) "is every way perfect", than True Will (definitions 2 and 3)?

I don't distinguish between "pure will" and "True Will" because I see no reason to do so. I've already explained the three possible definitions of Will. Whether someone want to call it "pure" or "true" or just Will (capital W) doesn't matter.

And is the True Will of a person who finds no reason to act in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3), a True Will which is less perfect, or less useful, or less practical, or less good, or less preferable, than the True Will of persons acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3)?

It's hard to know how to answer this question because I'm not sure the question makes any sense (what does it mean for one Will to be "less perfect" than another? The phrase "less perfect" seems like a contradiction in terms, anyway). Also, I'm not sure if coming up with an answer to your question would benefit anybody in any way.


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Los
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28/05/2015 2:50 pm  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

If we take this archaic meaning, everything that happens can be described as "success" in the sense of following inevitably from the previous moment. Something to ponder when considering Liber AL.

thanks for pointing that out Los. Indeed, something to ponder.

You're welcome. More grist for the mill is always good.

Regarding:

True Will frees the individual from having to worry about the past or to have regrets.

I would suggest that it also frees the individual from 'having to worry' about the future, as criteria for future action will again be only to act in accordance with "True Will". 

Thus, she is living authentically in the Present.

Good point. There's ultimately no reason to ever worry about anything. Everything's going to happen exactly as it has to (it's in this context that one should consider what Liber AL has to say about failure, fear, and being sorry: none of those ideas really make any sense if a person actually clearly perceives what's going on).

We might even say that the past and the future are imaginary places. Now true, the past arguably "exists" to the extent that it has shaped the present -- and there's actually a whole bunch of really interesting philosophical positions on whether past and future "exist" and in what way -- but for all practical purposes, the only thing that's real is the present moment (we'll set aside, just for the time being, the notion that reality is in such a state of flux that we can never really "know" the present and are always interacting with a mental image of the [extremely recent] past). In the sense of being our personal or societal history, the "past" exists for us as mental images that we experience in the present. That's it. And the future isn't here yet. It "exists" -- insofar as this is a kind of "existence" at all -- in the mental pictures where we anticipate it in the present.

If you look at it this way, there's no reason, a priori, that the past -- say, a traumatic memory -- should affect a person any more than a movie he saw last night: both equally "exist" right now for the person in the form of mental images conjured up by the brain. The reason that the kinds of mental pictures we call memories *do* affect the individual more, however, is a combination of repeated exposure to them (remembering them or trying to repress them for years or even decades) and the different position that the person imagines that he stands in relation to these particular mental images: because the individual has an idea of "self" that is comprised of (or defined in relation to) these memories, these mental images are accorded a special power that other mental images are not.

There's more to it, of course -- there's a whole physiological component to be discussed as well -- but the gist of the above ideas is a message of extreme liberation: there's no reason for a person to be affected, in the slightest, by fear, regret, or sorrow at the past or dread at what's to come in the future. What's important to grasp is that this is not some mystical bliss-out-in-a-trance schtick. What I'm saying is that seeing reality clearly actually discloses to the individual that fear, regret, sorrow, dread, and all the rest of it are illusory.

This is not to say that a person will magically stop *feeling* those feelings, but the more a person trains his mind to pay attention to the present -- the more a person brings his awareness back to the reality that Now is the only thing that's real -- the easier it will be to see these mental constructs as the illusions that they actually are.

The reason I didn't mention True Will (definition 1) as freeing the individual from concerns about the future is that -- in the context of Thelemic practice -- the idea of the "future" (that particular mental image) is a tool that the individual can use to make decisions in the present, and that decision-making is greatly enhanced by using True Will (definition 3).

Once again, there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything the individual does
2) Everything the individual does in the absence of internal restriction
3) Everything the individual does in the absence of internal and external restriction

These three definitions can be attributed to lots of things: to the three "grades" spoken of in Liber AL, to the powers of the sphinx (with the fourth power, To remain silent, underlying the other three), to all the other sets of threes that crop up in symbols. But they are especially useful when attributing them to time. These three definitions broadly correspond to past (1), present (2), and future (3).

As I said earlier, the present is arguably the only thing that exists. This means that the most practical and useful definition of True Will is number 2: whatever you do right now, absent internal restriction, is your True Will. This kind of True Will can't be thwarted by outside forces because it basically amounts to the individual acting naturally in a given environment. Following this True Will doesn't depend on the environment at all. If the individual were thrown into prison, he would face intense external restrictions on his actions, but he could still conduct himself, within that environment, in accord with his nature.

As part of the present, the individual reflects on the past and the future (and, in the process, arguably constructs them, as discussed above). Definition 1 is useful here in freeing the individual from regret, worry, and sorrow in regards to both the past and the future, but especially the past because the past actually did lead the individual to this place (while the future isn't here yet).

One of the things people do in the present is make choices for the future. People are faced with options about the future that they confront in the present moment. Examples include questions of where they should live, what kind of careers they should pursue, what kind of relationship they want with their romantic partner(s), or even what they want to do for dinner that evening.

For making these decisions, individuals are aided greatly by having a mental model of their Will, and here definition 3 is most useful. We might say that a person thrown into prison could act in accord with his True Will (definition 2) but that his True Will (definition 3) is being restricted. Where definition 2 represents a person's natural response to an immediate situation, definition 3 represents a conception of that person's most suitable "path" through the world. It's in the sense of definition 3 that a person figures out that he's the kind of person who enjoys living in the city more than the country (or vice versa) or figures out that he prefers a long-term monogamous relationship over a polyamorous arrangement (or vice versa). A person figures this out by paying attention to his immediate reactions to situations in a variety of situations over a long period of time; by doing this, the person can slowly begin to induce a mental concept of his True Will (definition 3) that can be useful in making decisions. Importantly, this mental model is not itself the True Will (definition 2), and the individual should never lose sight of this fact: the model does not exist to direct action but to assist the individual in making choices that he thinks will satisfy his True Will (definition 2) in the future.

It is important that the individual not come up with a model and then just blindly follow that model. The model needs to be "checked" against the actual Will (definition 2) in the present moment. If a person decides that he likes living in the country but then is actually miserable once he moves there, he needs to be able to course correct and not stubbornly stick to a course of action because he's talked himself into thinking that it's his True Will.

Anyway, all of that is to say that these three definitions of True Will are of great practical utility.


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jamie barter
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28/05/2015 3:50 pm  
"Los" wrote:
More grist for the mill is always good.

Here’s some more then, as it's "always" good!

"Los" wrote:
What I'm saying is that seeing reality clearly actually discloses to the individual that fear, regret, sorrow, dread, and all the rest of it are illusory.

What, you’re saying that this “clear reality” is equally as illusory to the individual as well ?!

"Los" wrote:
The reason I didn't mention True Will (definition 1) as freeing the individual from concerns about the future is that -- in the context of Thelemic practice -- the idea of the "future" (that particular mental image) is a tool that the individual can use to make decisions in the present, and that decision-making is greatly enhanced by using True Will (definition 3).

What, so the “future” is not illusory itself then – it’s a ”tool”?

"Los" wrote:
Once again, there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything the individual does
2) Everything the individual does in the absence of internal restriction
3) Everything the individual does in the absence of internal and external restriction

So wouldn’t the hegemony of #1 do away with “[The Word of Sin is] Restriction [‘internal’ and ‘external’]” anyway?

"Los" wrote:
Definition 1 is useful here in freeing the individual from regret, worry, and sorrow in regards to both the past and the future, but especially the past because the past actually did lead the individual to this place (while the future isn't here yet).

Who sez?

"Los" wrote:
This means that the most practical and useful definition of True Will is number 2: whatever you do right now, absent internal restriction, is your True Will.  ... A person figures this out by paying attention to his immediate reactions to situations in a variety of situations over a long period of time; by doing this, the person can slowly begin to induce a mental concept of his True Will (definition 3) that can be useful in making decisions.  Importantly, this mental model is not itself the True Will (definition 2), and the individual should never lose sight of this fact: the model does not exist to direct action but to assist the individual in making choices that he thinks will satisfy his True Will (definition 2) in the future. ... The model needs to be "checked" against the actual Will (definition 2) in the present moment.

Oho, so it’s definition #2 we should plump for now? ???  (Keep up at the back, there!)

"Los" wrote:
If a person decides that he likes living in the country but then is actually miserable once he moves there, he needs to be able to course correct and not stubbornly stick to a course of action because he's talked himself into thinking that it's his True Will.

What (or Why), even if “everything he does is the True Will”, when “literally everything that happens is your True Will” including by definition all the stuff done in the “past”?

"Los" wrote:
Anyway, all of that is to say that these three definitions of True Will are of great practical utility.

Yes, all of that is to say yadda yadda at great length - Talk about gilding the lily! (And I thought I could be wordy sometimes :o)

Style:  5½ /10 ; Content:  6½ /10.  A little confused on (past, present, future) "timings" but some overall minor improvements.
N Joy


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Shiva
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28/05/2015 6:36 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
According to Los' definition #1, that is correct. Said Christian is indeed doing his Will. And so is everybody and anybody else who does anything - as long as it succeeds.

I don't know if I agree with that last bit, but it depends on exactly what you mean. A person who enters an archery competition and badly misses every target is still carrying out his True Will (definition 1), even though his attempts have "failed" by most conventional standards.

Yes. He has succeeded in entering the competition, but failed to win it. If his horse had broken down on the way to the contest, then it would obviously not be his Will to even enter the shooting match, much less win it. Instead of "succeeds," I suggest the word "happens." Que sera, sera. If it don't happen, then it doesn't even count.

Anyway, your definition #1 is good for speculation, but the other definitions are probably closer to the philosophical discussion. And as far as spontaneous enlightenment goes (the actual subject of this forum), if it happens, it is his Will ... or God's Will ... or the Will of the Universe or whatever allows for spontaneity.


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jamie barter
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28/05/2015 6:42 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
And is the True Will of a person who finds no reason to act in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3), a True Will which is less perfect, or less useful, or less practical, or less good, or less preferable, than the True Will of persons acting in accord with True Will (definitions 2 and 3)?

It's hard to know how to answer this question because I'm not sure the question makes any sense (what does it mean for one Will to be "less perfect" than another? The phrase "less perfect" seems like a contradiction in terms, anyway). Also, I'm not sure if coming up with an answer to your question would benefit anybody in any way.

Since Los rather likes (or maybe even: “doesn’t dislike”) negating and changing around verb forms in sentence structure, etc., how about using “more imperfect”, perhaps?  Very few things are “perfect” but many more are imperfect, and they can then be graded accordingly as relevant & if so desired.  In this example, it could be degrees of imperfection in terms of following and carrying out one’s actions in accord with “True” or “Pure” or “just” Will (as he appears to have excluded the first two from discussion as unnecessary anyway.)

I rather agree though, well, I’m not sure there was a lot of sense in your question there, either.  Maybe you could kindly rephrase it?  What is it you’re getting at there?

Yours enquiringly
N Joy


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wellreadwellbred
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29/05/2015 12:12 am  

In the second post in this thread, I quote what that is stated concerning the absolutely perfect quality of pure will in The Book of the Law I:44, as something which seems to indicate that spontaneous enlightenment or spontaneous absolute perfection, is supported within the core holy book of Thelema.

From the following written in chapter 9 of his autobiography Confessions, it is clear that being very religious, was at the core of what Crowley considered to be his nature:
"The fact is that (as my brother-in-law, Gerald Kelly, once told me, with astounding insight) I was the most religious man that he had ever met. It is the inmost truth. The instinct was masked for a long time, firstly by the abominations of the Plymouth Brethren and the Evangelicals; secondly, by the normal world. It only broke out at a subsequent period in any recognizable form. But when i did so, it became the axis of my being. As a matter of fact, even in these early days, my real need was spiritual satisfaction; and I was a satanist or a worldling (as the case may be) in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

From the following written by Crowley in his essay titled The Vindication of Nietzsche, completed on 28th August 1914, it is clear that he intended to found a New Religion on the basis of The Book of the Law:
"... in England, independently of him, and ignorant of his teaching, was found a man who actually endeavoured—and, is still endeavouring—to found a New Religion on such texts as these: [Numerous and extensive quotes from The Book of the Law]"

According to Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), a historian of religion, writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago, was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. He writes the following concerning the use of the word "pure", by "Religious man":
"Religious man tends periodically toward archetypes, toward 'pure' states; hence the tendency to return to the first moment, to the repetition of that which" was at the beginning. So long as the ‘simplifying’, ‘archetypizing’ function of returns, repetitions, and rebeginings is not understood, we will not understand how religious experience and the continuity of divine forms are possible—in a word, how it is possible to have history and form in "religion."" ELIADE, Mircea. Journal I–1945-1955, p. 20.

On page two in the same book, Mircea Eliade, does in the following deinition of the term ecstacy, describe it as as leading into the universe of ideas, of perfect, divine forms: "Ecstacy–the instantaneous penetration into the universe of ideas, of perfect, divine forms" ELIADE, Mircea. Journal I–19405-1955, p. 2.

Keeping in mind the aforementioned larger context, is likely that the use of words like pure and perfect, in the following quote from verse 44 in the first chapter of The Book of the Law, are referring to ideal, archetypal "pure" forms:
"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect."

So my question to you Los is this:
Do you really consider "pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result," to be something within reality, which has the quality of being absolutely perfect, or do you consider the latter quality of absolute perfection, to be referring to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?

"jamie barter" wrote:
What is it you’re getting at there?

Is the implied absolutely perfect quality of True Will, an absolutely perfect quality which according to Los exists within reality, or does the said absolutely perfect quality according to Los refer to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?


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Shiva
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29/05/2015 1:45 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Do you really consider "pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result," to be something within reality, which has the quality of being absolutely perfect, or do you consider the latter quality of absolute perfection, to be referring to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?

You asked los, but I'll comment. "Unassuaged of purpose" without lust of result" is perfect simply because it's being done without reference to the outcome - in fact, it's really perfect because the doer has lost his/her sense of self and is just concentrated on the doing/going.

"jamie barter" wrote:
What is it you’re getting at there?

Is the implied absolutely perfect quality of True Will, an absolutely perfect quality which according to Los exists within reality, or does the said absolutely perfect quality according to Los refer to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?


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Los
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29/05/2015 3:22 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
"Unassuaged of purpose" without lust of result" is perfect simply because it's being done without reference to the outcome

This is not quite right (or at least it could be better explained). Acting without "lust of result" does not mean acting "without reference to the outcome." If we were playing a game of chess, I could only make sensible moves with reference to the desired outcome (i.e. winning the game). If I were making a cup of coffee, I could only act with reference to the desired outcome.

Acting without "lust of result" is really acting without attachment to the result. And since that's a sort of vague way to put it, I'll make it more concrete: acting without "lust of result" basically boils down to acting with the realization that the result won't make your life "better" -- it'll just make it different. Nobody thinks that winning a game of chess or making a cup of coffee will make their lives better. But lots of people *do* think that getting a different job, finding a romantic partner, earning a degree, winning the lottery, etc., etc. *will* make their lives better. This is why a lot of people feel empty after working hard for something for a long time and discovering that achieving what they wanted doesn't make everything all better.

In a sense, this disappointment that a lot of people feel when they get their results is what lies behind the Buddhist desire to end desire: people keep expecting results to fulfill them, and then those results don't, or at least not in the way people imagined (for example, the results don't fulfill them permanently). But it's a mistake to conclude from this that one should give up desire: rather, the proper conclusion is that one was expecting the wrong thing from results in the first place.

Results or goals only have meaning insofar as they provide a context for action. Winning a game of chess isn't anything special in and of itself, but it provides the context against which you can determine a "good" move. Once you win (or lose) the game, it's time to move on. In the same exact way, getting a new job isn't anything special in and of itself: it just provides the context for actions. Once you get the job (or not), it's time to move on to the next goal.

Expecting goals to fulfill you is silly because goals are just ideas. It's action that fulfills people because action is a constant, dynamic exercise of one's energy. Don't make me bust out that old cliché that it's all about the journey, not the destination....

in fact, it's really perfect because the doer has lost his/her sense of self and is just concentrated on the doing/going.

You don't necessarily have to lose yourself in your actions or walk around in a trance state 24/7. You just have to figure out what ought to be perfectly obvious: results won't make everything all better.


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wellreadwellbred
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29/05/2015 7:49 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
So my question to you Los is this:
Do you really consider "pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result," to be something within reality, which has the quality of being absolutely perfect, or do you consider the latter quality of absolute perfection, to be referring to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?
"Shiva" wrote:
You asked los, but I'll comment. "Unassuaged of purpose" without lust of result" is perfect simply because it's being done without reference to the outcome - in fact, it's really perfect because the doer has lost his/her sense of self and is just concentrated on the doing/going.
"Los" wrote:
... It's action that fulfills people because action is a constant, dynamic exercise of one's energy. Don't make me bust out that old cliché that it's all about the journey, not the destination.... [...] You don't necessarily have to lose yourself in your actions or walk around in a trance state 24/7. You just have to figure out what ought to be perfectly obvious: results won't make everything all better.

As my question concerning the absolutely perfect quality of "pure will" according to The Book of the Law I:44, asked directly to Los, has not been directly answered by the latter, I can only deduce the following "answer" to my said question, based on what Los in « Reply #64 on: Today at 04:22:09 am », wrote in reply to what Shiva wrote in « Reply #63 on: Today at 02:45:32 am »:
The term "pure will" as used In AL I:44, refers to the action of people, action which does, of course, occur within reality, and this action is described as "every way perfect", since it fulfills people, because action is a constant, dynamic exercise of one's energy.   

In the second post in this thread, I refer to AL I:44, as an example of that spontaneous enlightenment or spontaneous absolute perfection, is possible according to The Book of the Law. If we accept that the term "pure will" as used In AL I:44, refers to the action of people within reality, it is then the action of people within reality, which in it self "is every way perfect." Reading the verse AL I:44 as referring to the "every way perfect" nature of the action of people within reality, does in no way decrease its value as an example of that spontaneous enlightenment or spontaneous absolute perfection, is possible according to The Book of the Law. Quite the contrary actually, for if the nature of the action of people within reality "is every way perfect", it naturally follows that such action can lead to a spectacular result like spontaneous enlightenment.


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jamie barter
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29/05/2015 10:55 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
What is it you’re getting at there?

Is the implied absolutely perfect quality of True Will, an absolutely perfect quality which according to Los exists within reality, or does the said absolutely perfect quality according to Los refer to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?

According to the terms and wording given, I would say that is the case, that it refers an ideal which goes beyond reality or which is outside of reality.  An ideal, even one being imagined rather than ‘realised’, is a type of experience (albeit one taking place in the mind); and the fact that it is experienced at all bestows upon it a certain level of reality.  The only thing which goes beyond or outside of reality would then be something which has not been conceived (as in imagined).  We exist in a dualistic, relativistic universe where there is no such thing as the “absolute”: and for defining purposes every thing is dependent in some way on some other thing.  The ‘pure’ and the ‘perfect’ would, in that sense, be an ideal or direction to aim for but not emotionally lust after, and therefore not be a ‘realistic’ (or more accurately, ‘reify-able’) ideal.

"Shiva" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
What is it you’re getting at there?

Is the implied absolutely perfect quality of True Will, an absolutely perfect quality which according to Los exists within reality, or does the said absolutely perfect quality according to Los refer to an ideal which goes beyond reality, or which is outside of reality?

Am I lusting after a result where there isn’t meant to be one here, or was there ‘really’ intended to be some further comment to this quote which has been accidentally missed out?

"Los" wrote:
In a sense, this disappointment that a lot of people feel when they get their results is what lies behind the Buddhist desire to end desire: people keep expecting results to fulfill them, and then those results don't, or at least not in the way people imagined (for example, the results don't fulfill them permanently). But it's a mistake to conclude from this that one should give up desire: rather, the proper conclusion is that one was expecting the wrong thing from results in the first place.

Nothing is really fulfilled “permanently” anyway.  In that old saying, “in the long run” we are all dead.  But whether even death itself is permanent cannot be known for certain at this juncture.

Going back to the title of this thread, “Is spontaneus [sic] enlightenment 'unthelemic' and impossible within the ‘new aeon’?”, I found this rather unsatisfying on a number of levels:
 
Firstly, like some others I failed to see why spontaneous enlightenment might be considered unthelemic in any case.
Secondly, I am wondering at the significance of the last phrase “within the new aeon”, since there is the implication that such spontaneous enlightenment was possible before the new aeon, i.e. in the old aeon, but for some reason no longer is. 
Thirdly, I do not like the extremism which is implied by the use of “impossible”: why on earth should spontaneous enlightenment be “impossible”?  “Harder to achieve” would maybe have been a better substitute, although not necessarily make any more sense. 
And fourthly, there is the implication that the situation abruptly changed (from possibility to impossibility) as soon as the Spring Equinox of 1904 took place but with no explanation given on why such a far-reaching alteration in scope should suddenly become

Maybe Well, as OP you could very briefly address these concerns in as clear, concise & cogent a manner as possible? (Please!)

N Joy


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wellreadwellbred
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29/05/2015 7:02 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
The contradiction is in your quasi-religious reasoning when you state that "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity. Contradicting the just quoted statement, you have also stated that, "if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff." It is obvious that Thelema can not be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity, if one can forget all about it, just because one is fully satisfied with one's life.
"Los" wrote:
There's no contradiction there.

You're mixing up "The Law of Thelema" -- a description of what actually happens in the universe -- with a person "looking for the True Will" -- a deliberate attempt on the part of an individual to learn about himself.

Remember, there are at least three definitions of True Will:
1) Everything an individual does
2) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal restrictions
3) Everything an individual does in the absence of internal and external restrictions

In the sense that "The Law of Thelema" is a natural law, we mean definition (1). Literally everything that happens is your True Will (definition 1). ...

There is a contradiction between your statement that "if someone is fully satisfied with their lives, they’ve got no reason to go looking for their True Will, and they can forget all about this Thelema stuff.", and your statement that "The Law of Thelema can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity. "The Law of Thelema" that "can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity, being a part of what you call "this Thelema stuff", makes it possibly deadly to forget all about "this Thelema stuff", because one can die as a direct consequence of forgetting all about gravity. But if you do not consider "The Law of Thelema [...] to be a natural law" akin to gravity, and just consider it as something that was invented by Aleister Crowley, then it is of course not possibly deadly to forget all about what you call "this Thelema stuff."


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wellreadwellbred
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29/05/2015 7:16 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
Going back to the title of this thread, “Is spontaneus [sic] enlightenment 'unthelemic' and impossible within the ‘new aeon’?”, I found this rather unsatisfying on a number of levels: [...] Maybe Well, as OP you could very briefly address these concerns in as clear, concise & cogent a manner as possible? (Please!)

N Joy

I wrote the title of this thread, having in mind the following written within the OP of the thread Thelemic Practice - http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=71975#p71975:

"Los" wrote:
I submit that it is impossible to discover the True Will without having a crystal clear understanding of one’s goals, how one’s practices enable one to achieve these goals, why one would think that such practices *would* enable one to achieve these goals, and the criteria by which one judges success in these practices.

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wellreadwellbred
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29/05/2015 7:33 pm  

Based on the following quotes from Crowley, it is my impression that he deified will in The Book of the Law, by there describing "pure will" as "every way perfect", to make "the Absolute" that he as " the most religious man" aspired for his whole life, accessible to his own action[-s], and accessible to the action[-s] of every person.

"... in England, independently of him, and ignorant of his teaching, was found a man who actually endeavoured—and, is still endeavouring—to found a New Religion on such texts as these: [Numerous and extensive quotes from The Book of the Law]" Source: Aleister Crowley, The Vindication of Nietzsche (1914).

"The fact is that (as my brother-in-law, Gerald Kelly, once told me, with astounding insight) I was the most religious man that he had ever met. It is the inmost truth. The instinct was masked for a long time, firstly by the abominations of the Plymouth Brethren and the Evangelicals; secondly, by the normal world. It only broke out at a subsequent period in any recognizable form. But when i did so, it became the axis of my being. As a matter of fact, even in these early days, my real need was spiritual satisfaction; and I was a satanist or a worldling (as the case may be) in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi." Source: Aleister Crowley, Confessions, chapter 9.

"I loved mankind; I wanted everybody to be an enthusiastic aspirant to the absolute." Source: Aleister Crowley, Confessions, chapter 31.

"I was enormously encouraged by this article. I knew how serious my purpose was." [...] People acquiesced in me as the only living poet of any magnitude. (There were many better known and more highly reputed poets --- [...], whose achievement at the best was limited by the narrowness of their ambitions. I at least was aiming at the highest.), is how Crowley describes a review of The Star in the West (1907), a review where he is referred to with words like "the only question is, has Mr. Crowley a serious purpose? ... Such are some of the sensations described by Aleister Crowley in his quest for the discovery of his Relation with the Absolute." Source: Aleister Crowley, Confessions, chapter 60.


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Tao
 Tao
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29/05/2015 9:07 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
"The Law of Thelema" that "can be considered to be a natural law" akin to gravity, being a part of what you call "this Thelema stuff", makes it possibly deadly to forget all about "this Thelema stuff", because one can die as a direct consequence of forgetting all about gravity.

I think you might be confusing terms here, Well. I forget about gravity all the time. I might even go so far as to say that I forget about it specifically because doing so is not deadly. If I flew off the ground every time the law of gravity slipped my mind, I daresay I wouldn't forget about it nearly as often.  😮

For further elaboration, please reference The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 2nd edition. The one with the fuzzy cover that only bites when it's hungry.


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Azidonis
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30/05/2015 9:33 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Is spontaneus enlightenment or perfection "unthelemic" and impossible in the "new aeon"?

Even Probationers may take the Oath of the Abyss, although ill-advised.

As far as "enlightenment" - it has little to do with Thelema and the Aeon, or any other doctrine, aside from the doctrines pointing to it all the time.


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gurugeorge
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21/08/2015 5:40 pm  

One of the funniest stories about "lust of result" is an old Zen story (or it might be Tibetan Buddhist?  Can't quite remember) about a guy who plants some crops and tries to help the little shoots to grow by tugging them up a little bit every day - with predictable results 🙂

Another way of putting it: "a watched kettle never boils."

The Daoists use the term "cultivation" for what we call "practices" (and what D. E. Harding calls "experiments" - AC too, sometimes).  I think AC was (understandably) occasionally a bit misleading when he spoke in terms of "do certain things, certain results will follow". 

It's not like there's no cause ("grace" is nonsense - and if you get a true teacher touting that, you can be sure they did some kind of intensive work, it's just that they've forgotten, or they're not seeing the obvious link, or they've got some ideological bee in their bonnet).  There is a causal relationship between what you do and the result, but it's not a direct, linear relationship (like, e.g. mixing chemicals), it's like: you have to do the stuff, but you don't know exactly when or how the fruit will manifest (like growing a crop).


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